User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 106 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 97 out of 106
  2. Negative: 5 out of 106
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  1. Oct 15, 2011
    8
    "Man On Wire" is a documentary filled with joy and tension. It makes you feel as you are the characters and in the situation they are experiencing. The film's light pace also doesn't disappoint other movie geeks who expect fast ones. A amusing documentary in general that you might want to see.
  2. Aug 15, 2012
    7
    From UK director James Marsh, this Academy award BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE winner is a distinguishing of its own kind, it marvellously mends the interview with a re-enactment of the electrifying tightrope routine performed in World Trade Centre
  3. Aug 1, 2012
    9
    I look at the movie's poster and instantly notice a man whose life is dependent upon that thin, almost invisible wire. That man is Philippe Petit, and on August 7, 1974, he was arrested for trespassing. More specifically, he walked, knelt, and danced on a wire he and his friends connected between the Twin Towers. I have a curiosity for extraordinary human feats and a phobia for heights,I look at the movie's poster and instantly notice a man whose life is dependent upon that thin, almost invisible wire. That man is Philippe Petit, and on August 7, 1974, he was arrested for trespassing. More specifically, he walked, knelt, and danced on a wire he and his friends connected between the Twin Towers. I have a curiosity for extraordinary human feats and a phobia for heights, and the sight of Mr. Petit on that wire was one of the most beautiful and freighting things I have ever seen.
    I think that it's obvious that he succeeded since you cannot arrest a dead man. We all know that what he did was truly remarkable but what confounds many is his reason in doing it. Before I saw "Man on Wire", I stared at the poster, wondering what type of individual would do this, to risk a life so much that a wrong step could end it. Crazy was the word I thought of that would describe it the best, and then I watched the movie.

    Read more here: http://localmoviereview.com/man-on-wire-movie-review/
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  4. Apr 14, 2014
    10
    This documentary about the amazing process in how a very compelling man managed to tight rope walk from one World Trade Center building to the other decades after the event is my favorite documentary of the entire decade from 2000 to 2009. The whole sequence of events is fascinating, and every character, not just the main one, is interesting to watch. A must see.
  5. Oct 27, 2011
    10
    'Man On Wire' is and interesting story about an interesting man who is doing interesting stuff. I watched the documentry on the television and was pulled in to the film and actually couldn't turn the television off, I kind of couldn't walk over to the remote, I was just so concentrated, I was just staring at the television. A epic in documentry history.
  6. Apr 14, 2012
    10
    It's about a man's pursuit of his dream to walk on a tight rope between the World Trade Center towers. The story and characters are compelling enough on their own. But Marsh matches visuals to music in a way that makes this story more a work of art than a retelling. This movie owned me the first time I saw it. And I watch it again from time to time to remind myself how to dream.
  7. Jwv
    Feb 3, 2014
    9
    Great documentary with a delicious directness

    A great documentary that left me thinking about my own life and dreams. Not only the content and larger-than-life feat performed in the movie are its strong points, but also the directness and authenticity of the interviews with the people involved in the stunt. The strength in this is that it doesn't make the documentary something far-off,
    Great documentary with a delicious directness

    A great documentary that left me thinking about my own life and dreams. Not only the content and larger-than-life feat performed in the movie are its strong points, but also the directness and authenticity of the interviews with the people involved in the stunt. The strength in this is that it doesn't make the documentary something far-off, distant and unrealistic idealistic, but rather something very close.

    In my opinion, the scenes should have been rearranged. It would have been better to work chronologically toward one climax instead of flashing back and forward in time. This killed the tension. The whole should more closely reflect the natural accumulation of tension Philippe and his companions experienced when coming closer to their performance, not only making it a climax for Philippe, but for the viewer too.
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  8. Mar 19, 2013
    9
    8.5/10 Despite a couple of flaws, relatively speaking a great film.

    Miss: While not a long movie, it could have been trimmed up a bit. It's an undeniably beautiful story, but I did find it a bit self-indulgent at times. Hit: Everything else about the film is very good, and I would recommend it to anyone. It's pretty amazing how much vintage footage is used in the film documenting
    8.5/10 Despite a couple of flaws, relatively speaking a great film.

    Miss: While not a long movie, it could have been trimmed up a bit. It's an undeniably beautiful story, but I did find it a bit self-indulgent at times.

    Hit: Everything else about the film is very good, and I would recommend it to anyone. It's pretty amazing how much vintage footage is used in the film documenting everything from the construction of the twin towers to Phillipe practicing his tightrope skills and interacting with his friends. Everyone involved with the events being told gives are able to give some fascinating first-hand accounts. I enjoyed watching this film because it is an intimate look into the mind of someone who is very different than the average person. Phillipe had life-long goals and relentlessly pursued them, doing things that most of us could never imagine doing ourselves. This is a film I will remember for quite some time.
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  9. Apr 23, 2011
    10
    This movie is all about what art is : When somebody says something is impossible - let us begin with it. The artistic creativity of an artist is always a balancing act over the rules in human society.
  10. GarrettC.
    Jan 5, 2009
    10
    Viseral, real, inspireing, true artistry. I loved this movie.
  11. D.L.W.
    Oct 9, 2008
    10
    A bizarre story of a bizarre man... told perfectly. Definitely see this.
  12. StuM
    Aug 22, 2008
    10
    The best documentary I've seen. Totally gripping and inspiring.
  13. AvidH.
    Jan 6, 2009
    10
    If this movie were made up, it would be rubbish. As a true tale, it achieves the state of magnificence. What an event. Bravo.
  14. AilbheS.
    Nov 23, 2008
    10
    Moving captivating and highly entertaining.
  15. Sibyl
    Jul 25, 2008
    10
    Though I recall Phillippe Petit's walk between the Towers and also sat under his high wire one New Years at St. John the Divine (yes, I'm a fan), I was moved, enthralled, dazzled, by the film's story of how he and his gang so carefully plotted and planned their stunt. Yes, thank you Phillippe and thank you James Marsh, for inspiring us to art, freedom, joy.
  16. JimR.
    Aug 10, 2008
    10
    A truly great film about an inspiring human being! I'm speechless.
  17. SkiltyL.
    Aug 12, 2008
    10
    One of the most life-affirming films ever! Thanks, Philippe Petit for reminding me that life should be lived to the edge!
  18. SaraM
    Aug 14, 2008
    3
    This movie had a really great CONCEPT and a super STORYLINE but it was simply wayy too long. Occasionally funny and moving, it was a 90 minute movie that could have been done in 30 min.
  19. EvanC.
    Sep 12, 2008
    9
    Before I went, I couldn't imagine how a documentary about a tight rope walker would be this entertaining and engrossing. I was dubious when all the critics were so enthusiastic, but they were right.
  20. RobertI.
    Jan 10, 2009
    8
    An daring act that evokes emotion, even now.
  21. [Anonymous]
    Jan 10, 2009
    6
    I normally love documentaries, but this bored me. I just don't understand why this was so well-reviewed.
  22. JeremyV.
    Jan 23, 2009
    10
    Philippe is a emotionally captivating story-teller, and meeting him through the film is worth every penny. The story was surprisingly moving, and beautifully personifies the French ideal of "beauty" and "art". Upon completing the feat, people kept asking why they did it and with their French ideals they didn't understand why there had to be a reason - it was art-beauty, nothing more.
  23. williamC
    Jan 28, 2009
    9
    Very watchable. I was surprised since the subject matter is something I had no interest in.
  24. hollyc
    Feb 23, 2009
    9
    This is a thoroughly awesome yet subtly moving documentary on Phillip Petit's wirewalk of the WTC towers in 1974. I think Ebert's review log line kind of sets the right description for the way "Man on Wire" sits with you. 9/11 is understood throughout but never explicitly mentioned and with good reason. It is a story of the triumph of creativity, art and life in the face of This is a thoroughly awesome yet subtly moving documentary on Phillip Petit's wirewalk of the WTC towers in 1974. I think Ebert's review log line kind of sets the right description for the way "Man on Wire" sits with you. 9/11 is understood throughout but never explicitly mentioned and with good reason. It is a story of the triumph of creativity, art and life in the face of death and destruction. Bravo Marsh. Expand
  25. BadMovie
    May 1, 2009
    0
    Worst movie known to man. Dramatizations really ruin a documentary and this one is full of them. Main character is completely full of himself and makes you want to hate him despite his semi-cool caper. The recent doc on Joy Division was 100 times better. I am a democrat and I now use the term "freedom fries" instead of "French fries" after watching this. Dont be fooled by the reviews like Worst movie known to man. Dramatizations really ruin a documentary and this one is full of them. Main character is completely full of himself and makes you want to hate him despite his semi-cool caper. The recent doc on Joy Division was 100 times better. I am a democrat and I now use the term "freedom fries" instead of "French fries" after watching this. Dont be fooled by the reviews like I was, the emperor has no clothes. Expand
  26. AndrewD
    Jul 11, 2009
    2
    The story is mildly interesting, but is told in such a self indulgent way that it is hard to stomach. They talk about breaking into the WTC and setting up their wire as if they were pulling off some great robbery, sorry but it's more like the time my buddies and I snuck into the Dolphins stadium to take pictures of ourselves with "GO CUBS" painted on our chests. The tight rope The story is mildly interesting, but is told in such a self indulgent way that it is hard to stomach. They talk about breaking into the WTC and setting up their wire as if they were pulling off some great robbery, sorry but it's more like the time my buddies and I snuck into the Dolphins stadium to take pictures of ourselves with "GO CUBS" painted on our chests. The tight rope walker, Phillipe, wants to martyr himself so badly that he says, the police threw him down a flight of stairs and that he didn't know if he would be put in jail for the rest of his life or what. He continued on because he had to fullfill his dream no matter the cost. Give me a break, his punishment for this feat was to put on a street show for some kids and the city dropped all the charges. Oh and look what he does to his mates and his girlfriend once the feat is completed. He comes off to me as self absorbed, self-centered jerk. The wire walk between the towers in itself is a beautiful site to behold, but I don't see why it warrants 90 minutes of contrived build-up. I still don't understand why they couldn't just ask to setup the wire instead of all the cloak and dagger BS. People shoot movies in NYC all the time and it would provide great publicity for the towers which had just been built at the time. Why would the city say no? The Notre Dam walk I understand not asking there since it is church, but come on - NYC? Sign a few waivers and go knock yourself out, why not? This doc is a waste of time. Expand
  27. JimmySo
    Dec 21, 2008
    8
    Song of Innocence
  28. MarkH.
    Dec 25, 2008
    10
    Best documentary of 2008! Very entertaining! A good caper flick, not a boring "how they did it" History Channel program.
  29. RiaR.
    Dec 28, 2008
    10
    Extremely unusual, extremely inspiring. In a Prozac era, it is so uplifting to see someone with such a lust for life; someone who really experiences life as beautiful. What an unusual person!
  30. Lisa
    Sep 21, 2008
    10
    Mesmerizing, incredible photography, incredible conception.
  31. CecilT.
    Sep 22, 2008
    5
    Geezers reminiscing about their glory day -- overlooked in the drama of Watergate -- isn't enough to fill 90 minutes.
  32. RichardS
    Feb 26, 2009
    2
    I don't understand why people like this movie at all. The best I can think of is that it involves some kind of symbolic recoding of the WTC event of 2001. I thought the movie was overwrought and that everyone in it seemed stupid. I was not surprised when one of the accomplices said his memory was foggy because he used to smoke too much pot; they all talk like pot-heads. This film is I don't understand why people like this movie at all. The best I can think of is that it involves some kind of symbolic recoding of the WTC event of 2001. I thought the movie was overwrought and that everyone in it seemed stupid. I was not surprised when one of the accomplices said his memory was foggy because he used to smoke too much pot; they all talk like pot-heads. This film is like an exercise in mind control; you have these lunatics histrionically telling you how amazed you're supposed to be and then they don't give you anything to be amazed at. If the tone had been less strident, it would have been a better film. In fact, I feel that the filmmaker's tendency to blow up every detail out of proportion deflates any value that might be inherent in this dumb story. Expand
  33. HarryP.
    Dec 17, 2008
    8
    The fact that the Twin Towers are there no more lends this film a depth and weight it would not have had were it simply the celebration of a self-absorbed artist's biggest caper/production. Moments of pure magic - the walk itself - are its redemption.
  34. JimmyD.
    Dec 21, 2008
    9
    Surprisingly exciting. A great thriller.
Metascore
89

Universal acclaim - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 31
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 31
  3. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Margot Gerber
    80
    Pre the events of 9/11, the film might have simply been an entertaining, high risk tale of a death-defying feat related in both interviews, archival footage and photos and Marsh's usual meticulous and creative re-enactment vignettes. Post 9/11 you find yourself marveling that a man in far away France became smitten with the twin towers long before they became the target of terrorist attacks.
  2. The most miraculous thing about Man on Wire is not the physical feat itself, 1,350 feet above the ground, but that as you watch it, the era gone, the World Trade Center gone, the movie feels as if it's in the present tense. That nutty existentialist acrobat pulled it off. For an instant, he froze time.
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    100
    One of the most wildly entertaining docs of recent years.